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End of an era

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Volkswagen is ending production of its iconic Beetle, closing the door on one of the world's most famous car brands.

The German company said output would end at its plant in Mexico next July after production of celebration models.

The Beetle has its roots in Nazi Germany with the creation of a "people's car", but went on to star in a series of successful Disney films as a vehicle called Herbie.

Beetle was created in 1938 by legendary engineer Ferdinand Porsche - a name now synonymous with fast cars - at the behest of Adolf Hitler, who wanted to see a cheap and practical mass-produced car made available to the German people.

But the marque found global fame in the 1960s and '70s as Herbie the Love Bug, a racing car with a mind of its own. It was also popular with the 1960s counter-culture, who extolled the Beetle's small, practical, but aesthetic qualities.

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